The Reason That Urban Crime Soars
One of the crime issues that seems to defy answers – and solutions – is the unusually high crime rates in our major cities – especially in the segregated minority communities. This is not a recent phenomenon. The relationship between concentrated poverty, oppression and crime has been a characteristic part of urban living. The poorer the neighborhood, the higher the crime.
The greatest tragedies are obviously in conjunction with the most serious crimes – usually those offenses involving guns. How is it possible for there to be so many heinous crimes in neighborhoods with so many good citizens? With small businesses and well-attended churches.
Why aren’t the thousands of police officers who serve and protect in our metropolitan areas able to break up the gangs, route the drug dealers and arrest the criminal class?
The crime in our urban areas is not some social phenomenon based in the culture of the people. It is the result of political leadership that at best does not give a damn. Or at worst, politically benefits from the oppression, with crime merely an unfortunate byproduct.
High crime rates are due to a justice system that does not mete out justice. Crimefighting begins with the police. For the most part, they do the best they can. But their enthusiasm for aggressive police action is tamped down by a judiciary that serves as a revolving door for the criminals that the men and women in blue apprehend.
There are so many crimes that so-called “minor offenses” are simply ignored. Police may make the arrests but prosecutors do not prosecute – and judges do not effectively sentence. This not only frustrates the police, but it can discourage their own zeal in pursuing offenders.
There is a consensus among law enforcement experts that if you do not enforce low level criminal laws, big time crime will most surely ensue. That should be obvious.
To avoid responsibility for the high rate of crime in the major urban areas, the political leadership simply ignores the problem.
Official ambivalence and cover-ups led a group of citizens in the Wrigleyville and Boystown neighborhoods of Chicago to take action. And yes, Wrigleyville is the home of the Chicago Cubs and Boystown is the unofficial name of the official neighboring gay community.
They founded CWBChicago – the CWB standing for Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown. They launched a website reporting service to inform the public of the true nature of the crime in their communities. This was information that the political leadership, and even the Community Action Policing (CAPS) programs that should fully inform the communities, were not revealing.
According to CWBChicago:
“We knew from city data that robberies in our neighborhood had been soaring to record highs for three consecutive years. Yet public officials and police representatives at CAPS meetings continually said that crime was going down.”
There is no better evidence of the problem of lack of candor and lack of enforcement by the politicians than even a partial list of the findings of CWBChicago.
I will conclude this commentary with that partial list. I’ll let the readers draw their own conclusions as to why urban crime rages on.
- #1: 16-year-old charged with shooting man during robbery while awaiting trial for felony (January 12, 2021)
- #2: Man fatally shot girlfriend while on electronic monitoring for November gun case, prosecutors say (January 20, 2021)
- #3: On bail for 3 separate felony cases, “fanged” man now charged with killing 12-year-old in DUI crash (January 23, 2021)
- #4: Man on affordable bail for his 3rd felony gun case is charged with weekend murder (January 28, 2021)
- #5: Man charged with murder while on bail for 3rd gun case and escape (February 5, 2021)
- #6: Man, on bail for attempted murder and robbery, charged with killing woman while speeding away from police traffic stop (February 25, 2021)
- #7: Teen accused of shooting driver during Wednesday carjacking is awaiting trial for 3 felonies, prosecutors say (February 25, 2021)
- #8: “Highly active” gang member charged with killing rival over haircut — while on affordable bail (March 4, 2021)
- #9: On bail for five burglaries, man set fire to home, killing girlfriend and 10-year-old girl, prosecutors say (March 12, 2021)
- #10: Man, on bail for gun case, is charged with attempted murder for shooting at carjacking victims (March 17, 2021)
- #11: Man who shot cop and passerby hoped to be killed by CPD, prosecutors say (March 20, 2021)
- #12: Man charged with shooting co-worker while on affordable bail for Lincoln Park carjacking (April 2, 2021)
- #13 and #14: Two more men charged with shooting people in Chicago while on bail for felony cases (April 4, 2021)
- #15: Man murdered childhood friend while awaiting trial on federal gun charges, prosecutors say (April 13, 2021)
- #16: Man chased down and killed victim while on electronic monitoring for gun case, prosecutors say (April 18, 2021)
- #17: 16-year-old charged with murder, robbery in alleged pot dealer rip-off (April 19, 2021)
- #18: Man charged murder of 7-year-old at McDonald’s drive-thru has 2 pending felony cases, prosecutors say (April 25, 2021)
- #19: Second man charged with killing 7-year-old at McDonald’s was on 4 felony bonds, including robbery and gun cases (May 1, 2021)
- #20: Gunman in Diversey River Bowl shoot-out was on bail for another gun case, prosecutors say (June 2, 2021)
And this list could go one into the thousands of cases in any major city.
So, there ‘tis.